To help aid the disaster recovery efforts in Japan, two new portals built on the Windows Azure platform have just been released. These portals are both designed to provide relief workers and the worldwide community with real-time access to the latest news, relief needs and product donations following the country's recent devastating disasters.

As the nation's first food bank, Second Harvest Japan (2HJ) collects food that would otherwise go to waste from food manufacturers, farmers, and individuals, and distributes them to people across Japan who are in need, such as children in orphanages, families in shelters, and the homeless.  To provide the 2HJ community of supporters worldwide and relief agencies on the ground access to the latest updates, resources and information about recovery efforts from the recent earthquake and tsunami, Microsoft and The Aidmatrix Foundation have launched the Second Harvest Japan Emergency Response Portal.  From this site, supporters can receive the latest situation reports, review the latest news, make financial donations or see relief supply needs and make product donation offers.  

Read more about the portal and the technology behind it here.

Road-Status After the Earthquake Website Shows Real-time Status of Japan's Roads

Bing Maps Technology Specialist Johannes Kebeck worked with Microsoft Japan to deploy the Road-status After the Earthquake website that shows current status of roads in Japan following its recent natural disasters.  Delivered as a Bing Map and built on the Windows Azure platform in just days, this website provides real-time searchable status of roads across Japan and is accessible from multiple platforms and browsers, including most mobile devices.

You can read more about how this application was built in Johannes' blog post, "Dynamic Tile-Layers with Windows Azure and SQL Azure".